Civility in America 2016: U.S. Facing a Civility Crisis Affecting Public Discourse & Political Action
The sixth installment of Civility in America from global communications and engagement firm Weber Shandwick, public affairs firm Powell Tate and KRC Research finds that civility continues to be a societal issue. Nearly all Americans, 95 percent, say civility is a problem, with three-quarters (74 percent) saying civility has declined in the past few years. 70 percent also say that incivility in this country has risen to “crisis” levels, up from 65 percent in 2014.
Civility in America 2016 also finds that while incivility is capturing the attention of the public and the media in the presidential race of 2016, Americans say it may not capture their votes. While 83 percent of likely voters report that they are paying close attention to national politics, nearly all likely voters (93 percent) say a candidate’s tone or level of civility will be an important factor in deciding how they cast their votes in the 2016 presidential election, with more than half (52 percent) saying it will be a “very” important factor.
Likely voters also see negative consequences of uncivil behavior: 79 percent say incivility in government is preventing action on important issues; 77 percent say the U.S. is losing stature as a civil nation; 76 percent say incivility makes it difficult to even discuss controversial issues; 64 percent say they have stopped paying attention to political conversations and debates; and 61 percent say incivility is deterring people from entering public service.
Click here to view the press release. Additional findings from Civility in America 2016 will be released later this year.